GOP front-runners on immigration: 1980 and today

The GOP frontrunners on immigration: 1980 and today
The GOP frontrunners on immigration: 1980 and today

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    The GOP frontrunners on immigration: 1980 and today

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The GOP frontrunners on immigration: 1980 and today 01:47

Story highlights

  • The immigration debate isn't new to the campaign trail
  • During a 1980 presidential debate, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan expressed their ideas for immigration reform

Washington (CNN)Today's presidential candidates have been pressed on their plans for the U.S.-Mexico border and other immigration issues, and the debate is only expected to intensify now that the Supreme Court has announced plans to decide the fate of President Barack Obama's immigration actions this term.

But the immigration debate isn't new to the campaign trail.
Discussion of a border wall and how to deal with undocumented immigrants that are already in the country have been part of the presidential narrative for more than 35 years.
During a 1980 presidential debate, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan expressed their ideas for immigration reform and for how to handle undocumented immigrants. Both men would go on to serve as president. Compared to today's Republican front-runners -- Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz -- Bush and Reagan's plans were relatively lax. The issues may have remained the same, but the tone and proposed solutions have changed significantly.